Yesterday marked the Second Annual International Day of Happiness. Taking a cue from Bhutan, the United Nations passed a resolution that recognized the relevance of happiness and well-being as a fundamental human goal. And it’s not just the UN trying to refocus on happiness—brands, publications, musicians and individuals are in on the act, too:
• Westin hotels just announced a program for guests and employees characterized by six pillars of well-being: feel well, work well, move well, eat well, sleep well and play well.
• Pharrell is in on it (along with the UN, Happy Feet and Beats by Dre.)
I think it’s safe to say that happiness is definitely “a thing.” Thanks to #100happydays, it’s become “my thing.”
Let me give you the two-second version of how this all piqued my interest: great childhood, loved high school, slight obsession with my university… and then I graduated and moved to NYC. The glimmer of the post-school life faded. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been moping around for the past several years, but what has struck me is how much harder I have to work at being happy. Growing up I was much busier (i.e., classes, activities, volunteering, etc. versus work and sporadic activities) but happiness came easy.
There’s a laundry list of reasons I won’t get into on the ‘why’ but the point is, I’ve realized that like everything else in life, happiness is something I need to be mindful of. I need to make time and room for it and shift my perspective on what it means to be happy—it’s a sliding scale of sorts with BIG moments and everyday moments. By participating in the #100happydays challenge, I am forcing myself to recognize happiness each and every day no matter what is going on. And I’m documenting and sharing it so that I’m held accountable and can help be a part of spreading the word.
Wherever I net out after my official challenge is over, I am inspired by the fact that there is a budding global conversation about happiness. As every marketer knows, awareness is the first barrier a brand or product has to overcome. Inspiring a happiness movement is no different.
Having made it to the end of this post, consider yourself aware of happiness as “a thing” and as something we all have to work at. I’ve now moved you onto the consideration phase and I hope that you’ll challenge yourself to get happy. Tweet me @nikkibaboun and let me know how it goes.